Famed Scientist Found Strangled in Hotel Room

<i> From a Times Staff Writer</i>

A world-renowned scientist who was instrumental in the development of radar during World War II has been found strangled in a downtown hotel room, police said.

Stanley Keith Runcorn, 73, a professor of physics and geophysics at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, had been in San Diego visiting friends and colleagues for several days when he was found dead in his room Wednesday at the San Diego Hotel.

Born and educated in England, Runcorn was internationally recognized for his research into the effects of the moon’s magnetic fields. He won numerous awards and honorary degrees and was on the advisory committee for the Biosphere II project in Arizona.

He taught at UCLA and UC Berkeley and had been a visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He joined the faculty at Fairbanks in 1989.


Lt. Glenn Breitenstein said Runcorn’s body was found Tuesday morning by a hotel maid. He had last been seen at 11 p.m. Monday at a downtown restaurant.